I love my country. Do you?

Published: November 13, 2011

Who loves their country Pakistan, the most — the residents or the expats?

This is a question that’s debated quite often these days, by both, people who have lived in this country and those who are of Pakistani origin but live overseas. Often, seen in the drawing rooms as the tea trolley moves around, the argument grows to be a heated one but the million dollar question remains, “Who loves their country Pakistan, the most — the residents or the expats?”

Come to think of it, each group has a role to play inside Pakistan or outside of it. And we don’t need to love Pakistan and be patriotic because we listen to Dil Dil Pakistan, it is something that grows within each one of us, from our days as children. And this applies to Pakistanis who live in Pakistan or those who live in foreign lands.

Even those who live overseas show their love for their homeland by sending back money, which helps its economy, or they invest their incomes in the land of origin. Many overseas Pakistanis also give sizeable donations to charities in Pakistan funding quality and proven initiatives such as The Citizens Foundation or Edhi. And when they do this, it shows that there are people who love this country dearly, despite its flaws and its scars.

Charity no doubt begins at home. How charitable are you in person, to anybody who is in want of alms is a question few will raise their hands to answer in public, but yes, one needs to see that thy neighbour does not go hungry at night. Too many ideals, but who follows philosophical lectures.

A nation needs the sincere love of its citizens to be liberated from the clutches of foreign dictates. Feeding one poor person, on any given day will for sure, not make you a beggar, but it will feed a Pakistani, someone who is your compatriot and less fortunate than you, who nonetheless deserves a warm meal.

We can show the love for our country by involving ourselves in such activities which seek to help those less fortunate than us.

Saadia.Qamar

Saadia Qamar

A reporter on the Life and Style desk of The Express Tribune

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Anon

    Our country is messed up, the politicians are corrupt The welfare system non existent. The law and order situation a dangerous mess. And an economy in a pitiful state. There’s alot to complain about, but I live abroad and when I see my Palestinian friends struggle with their identity (which btw is about as old a struggle as the Pakistan’s partition), when I see how alot of them are either classified as stateless (with no passports) or have family members scattered in different parts of Middle East as refugees, it makes me really empathise with what the concept of freedom really means. Atleast I have an identity, an original passport and a country of my own which I can complain about! So yes, I begrudgingly cherish this country despite what it is, because I know it could be alot worse.Recommend

  • Parvez

    The question should be : ‘ Do our leaders love their country ?? ‘
    Your linking charity with love of country is quite simplistic, there’s much more to it.
    Anyway, I like the general idea behind your blog.Recommend

  • Waqas

    As an atheist, under an islamic law, I dont deserve any respect, yet as an overseas Pakistani I do send money for the charity, tough I know when people will learn about me, they wont respect me, unlike them, I consider every person from all walk of life as human beings.Recommend

  • alisha

    I love pakistan I really do. If I had to die for pakistan I would.
    But I will not be a hypocrite and say that if given the opportunity to live in a westren country such as USA or Australia I would gladly take it.Recommend

  • Adil

    This is an emergency time and you are talking goody goodies like love and all. This is our problem. Lets get the facts right and then think.

    FATA, KP and Karachi are almost getting out of hands. Balochistan if current things go will be a
    separate nation. What will happen in Balochistan develop nuclear weapons. Yes you thought right. Pakistan will be bombed back before the big bang happened. Afghnaistan will demand
    durand line its territory.

    Its high time we dont neglect these facts. If you really love our country, then all lets meet at
    Minaar e Pakistan. By God its time for a revolution as Zaid Hamid says.Recommend

  • Hina Munir

    well, to say this that we love pakistan or not is easy than to prove it. Pakistan is behind in every field weither related to economy,physical development or social development.What we need is an integrated and resilient development and a visionary leader who can direct this development according to the odes of our religion without which muslims are nothing.Recommend

  • MD

    @alisha,
    I love pakistan I really do. If I had to die for pakistan I would.
    But I will not be a hypocrite and say that if given the opportunity to live in a westren country such as USA or Australia I would gladly take it.

    Thanks, for the good laugh that your comment provided me. You are ready to flee your country at the very first opportunity and at the same time ready die for your country! If you cannot sacrifice a decent life abroad for the sake of your country, then how can you sacrifice your dear life for her?Recommend

  • Mahnoor

    I believe pakistanis who live outside in forgein countries have many roles other than just donating money for charities. As pakistanis living among different nationalitlies, it is our role to represent our culture and show them that we, pakistanis, are just like anybody else. In my opinion, i’d say some of us are courageous to stand up for our country and show them that no matter what, we’d always be proud of our country. As a pakistani living abroad, I don’t feel ashamed of being called a ‘paki’ and why should I? ‘Paki’ means pure and genuine. Some of the people are hopeful that they’d see a better pakistan in future and I am one of them. Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Who is more patriotic to pakistan i think those carrying american and japanese citizenshipRecommend

  • Twit

    the author is justifying something as patriotism if someone sends black money to a country. the author is fluent in English, that means access to internet and other sources of information. how black money reduces the currency value inside a country is too obvious even to write! just look it up. you are English educated that means middle class or above, and devaluing currency leads to inflation, which means it will not pinch you as you are middle class or above, but the large poor population in the country.
    so what the author says that you may be earning money through illegal means, but if you remit it to Pakistan as black money to a “charity” to cover your sins or other investments to avoid tax you are a patriot! Awesome logic!!Recommend

  • Proud Baloch

    To all the Pakistanis and Indians alike, let it be known that Baloch will never want independence. Get this idea out of your head. Media is over playing this issue. Realistically, we as a nation (Baloch) will tilt our views the moment we see money. My tribe receives handsome amount of money and the tribal elders are as happy as they could be. Even on a personal level i don’t want Balochistan to be independent. I owe all my success to honorable Dr Atta ur Rehman and HEC which funded by education abroad. Recommend

  • jimmy

    @MD:
    They say opportunity comes only once in a lifetime. So if she wants to settle in USA or AUS ..whts yr problem…being a south asian myself living in Singapore…before it was nz.. i came across many hypocrite south asains like u ..who kept blabeering hw their culture back home was superior and hw the west culture was not good.. and how u would go back forever.. even after 2 yrs when i go back to nz fr family visits.. the same ppl r still there and have now gt permanant residency !! which means tht any time in their life they can go back to nz.. whenever they wish ! Recommend

  • MD

    @jimmy,
    Look, don’t lecture me on patriotism or hypocrisy, first develop the capacity to understand what others are saying. Did you read my comment carefully? No, I don’t think so, all that you did was to jump to some stupid conclusion and write a senseless comment, targeting me.
    If fact I found alisha’s comment as contradictory, because everyone has a right to find a decent life for him/herself, but, why express such profound love for your country and that too in such a strong words and then, at the same time, yearn for comfortable life abroad?
    If any country that desperately needs her services today, then, that is none other than her own country, Pakistan. If you love your country more than your life then, why leave her in the lurch, particularly in such a desperate times? You can’t have a cake and eat it too.
    Recommend

  • http://tradersutra.com Hariharmani

    I LOVE MY COUNTRY MORE THAN MY LIFE”We say things lightly without meaning.What is love?Once Khleel Gibron was asked about love,he thought about it for while and said”it more right to call it social contract.’.Does it really exist?What we term love is a word,we really do not understand it.Does a man/woman who is having rough time feeding self or childern really care about such abstract term “love”?Why Khaleel Gibron thought love a social contract?.He explained,a wife loves her husband,let him cheat on her,beat her daily ,abuse her,love disappears in a hurry.Why?It was a unwriten contract or understanding of mutual give and take,for lack of ward,we term it ‘ love.’He further said to be realy love’,it must ask nothing in return,just giving.Ask nothing in return?,how many people follow that exalted notion?,very few.We losely use this word.A true defination of love,if at all, if it ever exist,demands nothing,only giving.SELFLESS and sacrifising.No ,silent,understanding,it is even very difficult even to comperhend,leave alone practising.So next time you want to use the word “LOVE” ,pause and then say L O V E. very reluctently,PLEASE.Recommend

  • Ather Sultan

    As much as I will like to say that we are free, independent and sovereign state and people, the fact of the matter is that we are not. The sooner we realize it, the better.

    I will not blame the US or any other so-called super-power for all of our problems and ills. We must develop the guts and the grit ‘to call spade a spade’ and look deep down into our own hearts, souls and minds before blaming anybody else.

    If the US is attacking our land and people in the name of the so-called ‘war on terror’ it is only because of our feeble and weak leadership. If the US is doing what it wants in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, nobody else but we as a nation and its so-called ’servant leadership’ is to be blamed.

    We must understand that the US and all other countries work only for their ‘own vested interest’ in the guise of ‘national interest’ and as long as we don’t do the same, we will not be able to become a real ‘free and independent state’

    Nevertheless, I can still see some light at the end of the tunnel. Pakistani people, by which I mean ordinary Pakistanis like you and me, are hard-working, patriotic, understanding, intelligent and pretty smart people. If we can be successful overseas, why not in our own land? It is these people of the land of the pure that I consider as the greatest asset of Pakistan and come what may, they will keep on trying to make their ‘each tomorrow’ better than today.Recommend

  • http://www.ahmadhammad.com Ahmad Hammad

    Well, I not only LOVE my country emotionally, but also believe in rendering the feelings into deeds. Whatever I do in my life, it is for achieving a better Pakistan. That is why I don’t like Imran Khan, who’s a stooge in the Establishment’s hands.
    We all should work for Pakistan….Recommend